Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Men In Black: International Review


All right gang, it’s time to look at the Men in Black’s latest outing. It’s definitely a franchise that pretty much everyone is familiar with although it hasn’t been the most consistent of titles. The first film was really good and the second was still solid. The third one was a pretty big dip in quality though and this one is more in line with that. It’s a decent movie, but one that you probably won’t bother to see twice.

The film starts out with a tease with Agent H and T heading off to fight the Hive. The scene ends real quick though so you never get to see the fight, thereby making it a bit of a waste of an intro. The scene wasn’t bad, but the sudden ending just invalidates the whole thing. We then cut to a flashback taking place before the intro which was also a flashback. We’re introduced to Molly who managed to escape having her memory wiped since everyone thought she was asleep. She then makes it her life’s mission to find the MIB. After tracking them down and being recruited she is given her first assignment. Agent M is to work with H and what should have been a routine escort mission quickly becomes a planetary crisis. Is M ready for this?

First off, the script is pretty solid. I do like the fast paced banter with the leads here. This style of humor’s been working pretty well for Chris’ various cinema characters lately and Agent H is no exception. He’s always got a comeback for everything and the rest of the characters follow suit. One good example of this is Pawny who takes every opportunity to take shots at H. While not all of the insults will land there are quite a few solid ones in there. One involves referencing how H was choked which was the ultimate comeback. There’s no counter to that. There is a whole lot of comedy in the film, but it rarely gets annoying. At most you’ve got some laugh scenes that last too long or too many jokes in a small time frame, but with the writing it didn’t really feel like an issue.

I think where the writing breaks down is how MIB just feels more about spectacle than realism here. I’m sure there are issues with them you could nitpick in the earlier films too, but here they’re just very apparent. One is how the heroes constantly show off the alien tech everywhere. There’s one scene where H and M quickly blast a few humans with the memory wiper, but ignore the hundreds of other people in the area. I guess there’s no time to blast them all, but then it’s almost pointless to blast the few. Molly’s whole origin story is pretty telling on how easy it is to avoid the MIB. I feel like more people should know about them at this point. As for a total nitpick, the train scene is a little odd. This is a secret MIB train that only the agents know about so why does it keep changing from an MTA train to a sci-fi one? Once it’s already underground with aliens boarding I don’t see the purpose in keeping it transformed except for the shock value scene of spooking M.

The film is also very predictable. To an extent most films are, but some just feel more telegraphed than others. This one is like Captain Marvel in that respect (Maybe it’s just a sci-fi thing) but you’ll be able to predict all of the twists before they occur. I won’t even hint at the main twist, but the instant one character brings up the possibility you just know that it’s a certainty. Then there’s one character who appears for an instant near the beginning so you know it’ll tie in later on. They say that the destination doesn’t matter and it’s all about the journey so if we take that as true then this wouldn’t really hurt the film. Honestly I don’t hold predictability against a movie since I do think it’s all in the execution. It wouldn’t hurt to mask what’s going to happen a little better though.

Now for the characters. I think Chris Hemsworth is quickly becoming like Tom Cruise or Dwayne Johnson in that he’s quickly becoming an actor who is playing himself rather than a character. There’s a debate to be had on whether that’s a good thing or not (Hint, it’s usually a good thing) but regardless it makes for H being a pretty entertaining character. He definitely has his share of iffy moments and he goes a little too far in being the irresponsible lead. You can see what the film is going for with the character, but I think he plays the trope a little too far. Now, the film does open the door to an explanation for this, but the film only halfheartedly entertains the idea and never goes through with it. Unless we actually get a sequel this will just be something for fan theories and headcanons so I can’t give him a pass. He’s an entertaining character, but definitely not a heroic one.

M is pretty solid. She’s definitely his polar opposite as she has lived her whole life just to join the MIB and as a result has no real life. This is almost a bit tragic to be honest, but I always like when a character has a one track mind like this. She’s a quick learner and while she isn’t as quick to think on her feet, she does have a lot of general knowledge on aliens and such. M has done her research so she adds some brains to the operation. She fills in her role pretty well.

Agent C is also a solid character. He’s thrown into one of those roles where he’s made out to be the annoying figure in the film, but that’s all if you look at it through the main characters’ lens. If you think about it objectively he is just doing his job and doing it well I might add. Every action he takes makes sense and it’s also perfectly understandable why he is a little jealous about how H gets to break all of the rules. I liked him quite a bit. Then you’ve got Agent T who is the classic boss type character. He’s pretty stern and down to business. A solid character all around, but naturally I liked him best during the flashback opening where he was a field agent.

As mentioned earlier Pawny is mainly here to crack a lot of jokes. He does come in handy on many occasions though and I think a good comic relief character needs to know when to step up. Pawny did just that and as a result he is a very complete character. He easily could have been a very annoying one so I think we got to give him some credit for avoiding that fate. Then you have one of the villains named Riza who is around for a quick fight scene. I do like the idea of a 3 armed fighting style and thought the fight was pretty well handled. Her actual plot wasn’t though. I won’t say much here, but keep in mind that her island is known as a lair of certain death and is the toughest place in the cosmos. So…why doesn’t she have more guards or security so people can’t literally strut around the place? Everything’s connected to one lever??? You’re gonna be suspending a lot of disbelief here.

There are also the two villains from the trailer who can turn into a space like vortex. They have cool designs and I like the moveset, but the film doesn’t give them a whole lot to do. In a way they just feel like they’re filling in space which is never what you want to happen. I think so much more could have been done with them, they don’t even really get named by the end of their appearances.

The special effects are definitely on point. There are a lot of scenes where the movie gets to show off the energy effects and such. There aren’t too many fights, but I did like the first action scene which took place in the city. The city’s always the best backdrop and as I mentioned the villains’ powers have good visuals attached to them. There were even some Terminator influences here with how they could manipulate metal. Then the soundtrack is superb as always. The main Men in Black theme is just really good and tends to fit in with everything. It makes any scene feel a lot more intriguing automatically.

Overall, Men in Black International was pretty reasonable. It’s a good film, I just wouldn’t call it very good. I think it’s a nice example of a film that didn’t necessarily do anything wrong (No animal violence, no excessive violence, the script was reasonable, etc) but it doesn’t really stick out. There are films that tackle the same subjects and plots that just handle them a lot better. This movie is the kind of title that makes for a fun experience at the theaters or watching at home the first go around, but there’s not a whole lot to say about it afterwards. You’ll enjoy it, but then move on to the next thing. There’s nothing great about it or super good in general. Still, I would recommend checking it out. Honestly, just being an enjoyable film isn’t such a bad thing. It wouldn’t be the first title I’d check out, but if you just want to watch a nice movie with some action scenes then this will be up your alley.

Overall 6/10

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Game Records

Men In Black Alien Crisis Stats and Records

Play Time 3h 9m
28/39 PS3 Trophies
Total Score 61268300
Shots Fired 17286
Hits 6587
Enemies Defeated 968
Vehicle Shots Fired 2165
Vehicle Hits 263
Vehicle Enemies Defeated 159
Collectibles 588
Health Packs 313
Ammo Packs 149
Grenade Packs 7
Rocket Packs 10
Bubble Packs 0
EMP Packs 5
Upgrade Points 104
Total Boom 49
Total 5X Combo 2
Total Cold Group 1
Total Reflection 1
Total Bubbled 63
Total 4x Combo 7
Total Triple Shot 9
Total 3x Combo 31
Total Frostbite 210
Total Caught 23
Total Shrapnel 19
Total Sniped 5

Level Stats Completion Time and Score

Chapter 1 9m 48s 1248600
Chapter 2 16m 29s 3918000
Chapter 3 10m 18s 120800
Chapter 4 15m 35s 2224100
Chapter 5 23m 10s 4520700
Chapter 6 8m 54s 109300
Chapter 7 14m 47s 4757600
Chapter 8 31m 35s 23207100

8 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Men In Black Alien Crisis Review

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Looks like it’s time to take a look at Alien Crisis. This is the first Men In Black game that I’ve played and one of the only ones to have ever come out. It’s a pretty fun game and you could tell that some effort was put into it, but at the same time you can also see how the developers were a little lazy at times. There are parts of the game where there is no real explanation on how to handle a boss and that can make it last a lot longer than it really should. One boss took me nearly an hour until I realized that the game was actually showing me the wrong weak spot. That wasn’t very helpful.

The game revolves around a guy named Peter. He’s a thief who used to be a respected archeologiest until he started having theories about aliens living among us. He was discredited so he decided to get back at society by stealing things. He gets in a little over his head when aliens show up, but he dispatches them with his gun skills. The Men In Black organization is intrigued so they blackmail him into helping them, but as the journey goes on, Peter starts to realize that being a hero may not be such a bad thing. It may be a brief realization though since the Earth may not be around for much longer!

Unfortunately, Peter’s not a good character. He’s modeled after James Bond in a sense so while he makes a lot of good puns and one liners while in imminent danger, he also gets his undesired traits like constantly flirting and most of his lines are about that. It’s too bad that we can’t get a character who’s super confident and everything without being a flirt. Wait a minute The main heroine is the hardened agent who blackmailed Peter into joining. She’s no nonsense and keeps reminding Peter that he’s not ready for this line of work. I could have sworn that she has the same voice actor as Black Widow. She’s a good character and by default, she’s basically the best in the game. As you may expect, she’s naturally possessed at the end so the rookie (Peter) can save the day, but I guess she takes it well. If we ever get a sequel, their dynamic will hopefully be more like the duo from the original Men in Black films since Peter will have some more experience. The dog makes some cameos here and there, but his role is not as big as it could have been. There’s also a professor who tried to outwit Peter and the MIB a lot, but he always fails in the end. One thing you’ll have to think about though is whether you should be rooting for MIB or not. After all, they did destroy a guy who came to Earth for an arranged marriage as part of a truce between races, right before they murdered his partner. Well, you know what they say..Don’t Mess with Earth!

The gameplay is your standard shooter, but it’s not totally first person like you would expect. You can still see your character and to an extent it can almost be called a third person shooter. I wouldn’t really call it that because you can never move forwards or backwards, but sideways is always an option. You can choose to hide behind a wall and strike out at the enemies or you can just stand tall and keep on blasting them. Either way, you should have the edge here as the enemies can’t stop you so easily. One health pack is enough to get you back to around full health although I imagine that this will change on higher difficulty modes.

You have around 6 different guns and they’re all pretty useful. I really like the machine gun, but the others have their uses. The two weakest ones have unlimited ammo so you’ll go to them when you’re desperate or in a tough spot. Those two situations are almost identical though. You also have a few gadgets to help you out like anti gravity grenades that send enemies into the air and a freeze ray that can really come through in the clutch. There’s also a barrier, which I highly recommend using as it can block all enemy fire and will never shatter. If you’re low on health then there’s no reason not to use it and it recharges very quickly as well.

I’m going to give this game some props for the fact that it didn’t stop at just making one gameplay style. There are several levels where you have to play in a different way in order to win. For example, there are 2-3 car chase levels where you’re flying through the city and blasting away at the aliens who are chasing you. You have to be careful not to his civilians or cars as you do and it makes for a fun level. There are also the sneaky levels which are all about strategy and silently taking down your foes. I’m always up for a stealth game even if I admit that they can be a little more irritating at times. Carmen Sandiego did this style best with Shattered Dimensions being a close second. Men In Black pulled it off quite well and would probably make it at number 3 here. The Batman games ironically get wrecked in this department.

The soundtrack is a little limited, but the tune for the main menu is catchy. The other themes are mostly non existent, but it’s your usual action fare. I wouldn’t say that the themes are bad and they’re fun to listen to in the heat of battle. The audio is interesting though as some characters sound robotic at times even if they’re trying to be charismatic. Ah well, I appreciate the effort at the very least. It can be annoying to hear the dialogue sometimes though since it is set to always replay if you lost in a level. I lost to the final boss several times before finally winning and to have to hear the same lines over and over again can get really old really fast. As for the graphics, they’re perfectly acceptable. It has that cash-in vibe, but the blasts are nice and colorful. I also like the designs of the enemies. The game did a good job of adding many different species unlike Battleship and the Iron Man inspired villain was also pretty hype.

I can’t say that there’s a whole lot of replay value to be found here. I read that the average completion time for this game is 2 and a half hours. I guess if you skip cutscenes and take out all of the enemies without a problem this can be true, but personally I’d expect the campaign to take you closer to 4 hours the first time. After that, you should have most of the trophies as well. The only things left to do are get the rest of them and maybe play around with the challenges a little if you really want too. I would say that the game is worth the current price although if you spent 60 on it (Not sure if this ever was 60 though. I personally doubt it) then you probably got ripped off.

The only real negative that I have with the game are the boss fights. As I mentioned earlier, the game really leaves you to your own devices, which means that you need to put on your detective hat and figure out what’s happening. Unfortunately, since the moments where the boss is actually vulnerable are few and far between, it can take a while. I lost to one of the bosses over 10 times before defeating her and I still don’t know what the problem was the first time. I basically just got lucky. As for the final boss, I did figure out that I was shooting the wrong target, but man did it take a while! The bosses were certainly the weakest part of the game, but they could have been worse.

Overall, Men In Black Alien Crisis is a pretty fun shooter. I found the actual gameplay to be better than Battleship, James Bond, and several other shooters. I even preferred it to Metroid Prime although that game naturally did have a better plot and more of an epic vibe. The story mode here did feel like a decent movie though and the snappy dialogue made for a believable main character. If you didn’t know any better, you could have easily thought that the movie probably had the same plot as the game although they are completely different. The writers thought it through and made a full on story mode so props to that. This may be a bit of a cash-in, but there was clearly more effort put in than usual. I’d recommend checking this title out.

Overall 8/10